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Tips on finding the right scholarship opportunities

(ARA) - Qualifying for a scholarship but not bothering to apply for it makes about as much sense as walking away from money left on a table to fund your education.

A simple Google search reveals the number of available scholarships. Granted, it takes patience and perseverance to plow through the exhaustive lists. And once you unearth a scholarship you qualify for, you are in for a barrage of paperwork.

However, the task is not more onerous than filling out the paperwork necessary to obtain a student loan. The incentive of eliminating or reducing your tuition liability should propel you along when paperwork piles high.

"Many scholarships go unclaimed," says Fred Hamilton, director of Student Financial Services at The Art Institute of New York City. "The initiative and persistence that will get you over the hurdle of paying for your tuition will serve you well as you go forth into the world of work. Future employers will likely take notice."

The Art Institutes schools offer four scholarship competitions including The Best Teen Chef Competition, Passion for Fashion Competition, Art Institutes/Americans for the Arts Poster Design Competition and Storytellers Photography Competition that award more than $800,000 total in scholarships for those interested in pursuing a creative arts education.

There are countless specialized offerings, including those aimed at minorities in general, African-Americans and Hispanics in particular, faith-based listings, government sites, individual college, corporate, military, union, fraternal organization offerings, and untold numbers of others.

It's important to realize you don't need a 4.0 grade point average to land a scholarship. Here is an example of an opportunity you might not expect to find: Xerox offers a technical scholarship limited to minority students. If you qualify, it would be a financial break, plus a possible foot in the door on the way to a career with a well-known corporation.

The first hurdle is locating a scholarship that's right for you. Take a personal inventory, including your ultimate career goals. Your high school guidance counselor will be aware of local and state offerings, but the richest source is the internet.

There is no need to pay a fee to locate appropriate scholarships among the 13,500,000 listed on Google or any other site. For free help, go to collegeboard.com and click on Parents. Other free sites include scholarshipexperts.com and collegeanswer.com (click on Scholarship Search).

Go through the online listings in small gulps, then come back later and resume where you left off. You will be encouraged when one or more listings leap off the page, seemingly created just for you.

"Our goal is to make it possible for students to enroll in our school and get the benefits of a career-focused education," Hamilton says. "We can guide them to sources of funding, but if they come to us having researched and landed a scholarship, everyone's job is that much easier."

To learn more about The Art Institutes schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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